How do I get my caring back? - page 2

I've been a nurse for about 10 years, 2 1/2 in the ER, and ever since I've started in the ER I've noticed something. I am really a less compassionate person. I started in oncology and was great... Read More

  1. by   wv_nurse 2003


    ummmm....I think a stint in any type of administration will bring rolling back the compassion for patients--it really does make you want to go RUNNING back to the bedside and take care of people who need you--IMHO
  2. by   Glad2behere
    Hi Folks,

    Tom makes a good point about beating the shyt out those little white balls...it is good therapy.

    I think too that we as nurses we are all on a heirarchy of emotional need and drain. As we witness and participate in events of increasing intensity, those of less intensity lose their significance and emotional charge. How many AMIs and DKA comas, flail chests can you do before they all seem the same? It takes a new emotional high to extract that every time. Instead of one major trauma it now takes two or three simultaneously to tap the emotions, or extenuating circumstances, something novel or noble about it. But worse, the nurse loses connection with the energy going outward because nothing is coming back...and one day realizes they are hollow within. Burnout. That is why it so difficult to respond genuinely to "regular" situations, because what comes back is now normal and it does nothing for emotional stimulation...only more drain. Depression. Tom made some very good points.
  3. by   veetach
    I have been a nurse for 9 years, 6 1/2 in the ER. I dont think you are going through an uncaring phase, but more of a defense mechanism for everything you have come up against in the last 2 1/2 years. Just when I think I have seen it all, something worse comes along. I feel like I am not a very caring nurse anymore either. WIth each year, I become a little more cynical and seem just a little more uncaring.

    It goes with the territory, good luck.
  4. by   Gigglesforall
    Although I am only a second year student I thought I'd share my input on this topic. Also, I plan on working in the ER someday, so this type of thing is of great interest to me. I just got done with two rotations in the ER recently and one of the most common observations my fellow nursing students and I realized was how desensitized the physicians and nurses were. While us students wanted to hold the 99 year old female with the broken femur's hand, or inform the anxious and scared wife of her husband's prognosis, we noticed that the focus of the nurses were not on doing so, but in getting the work done on the patient as quick and efficient as possible without even noticing the wife peeking through the door or the 99 year old crying in pain. I think the constant drive to go fast and get the patients out and move on makes even the most compationate person desensitized and more "machine-like." I don't think there's really anything that can be done to stop that process, it's just a natural process that goes on to keep one's sanity. I guess that's probably my biggest fear about becoming and Emergency Nurse.

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